Interactivity in professional online learning: A review of research based studies
AbstractOver the last few years, the higher education and the vocational education and training sectors have increased the number of online learning courses available for professionals. Yet, research on e-learning opportunities for professionals has not developed at the same pace. This paper describes the results of a systematic search for research based, empirical studies on professional online learning that examined interactivity and other forms of social learning. Based on four selection criteria (online learning course, professionals, interactivity and research study), the search yielded 18 articles. These were examined first in relation to the characteristics and context of the professional online courses under scrutiny, and second in relation to four levels of interactivity focus in the research. The highest level represents studies where the interactivity was planned, supported and implemented successfully, and the lowest level studies where minimal opportunities for interactivity were available. Overall, although some studies were of a high academic and educational quality, there was little evidence of pedagogical innovations that would give this field of educational research and practice a clear direction for the future.
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